Re-masculinisation of academia: A historical materialist approach to gendered power dynamics in current academic capitalism

Gender scholars have claimed that the shift to ‘academic capitalism’ (Slaughter and Leslie1997) and more market-oriented forms of governance and positional competition in academia instigates a process of re-masculinization (Aléman 2014; Morley 2015; Blackmore 2021).

While people in principle are measured on the same performance criteria in the global knowledge economy, processes of re-masculinisation operate in subtle, indirect, and complex ways. Drawing on free-association narrative interviews with 48 professors, post docs and PhD candidates of the humanities and soft social sciences at a research university in Norway, Associate Professor Lund aims to further develop conceptions of the dynamics involved in and driving these subtle forms of gender domination. More specifically, she will explore how scholars handle the potential tensions between subjective emotional processes involved in creative scientific pursuits on the one hand and the requirement to do well in the positional competition on the other. Associate Professor Lund will argue that the gendered implications of current forms of academic governance should be sought in different modes of emotionally informed ways of having and relating to the world. In order to account for this, she suggests that feminist historical materialism, a theoretical approach that gained traction in the 1980s and 1990s, may be retrieved and revised to shed light on new forms of gendered power dynamics in contemporary capitalism, in academia and beyond.


Rebecca W.B. Lund

Rebecca W. B. Lund is an Associate Professor of Gender Studies, University of Oslo, Norway. Her research revolves around feminist epistemology, social/feminist theory, methodology and knowledge production, with an emphasis on how academic work and academic identity is shaped by wider socio-historical and economic processes.


11.00 am—12.00 pm Wednesday 29 May 2024


Deakin University, Rooom N3.11, Melbourne Burwood campus, 221 Burwood Highway Burwood and online (via Zoom).


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This seminar is presented by the Education, Governance and Policy for Sustainable Societies research group.

Date: 29 May 2024 Cost: Free
Venue: Deakin Burwood View location
Attend online Join via Zoom